Public Safety

Suggested State Legislation: This Act requires a law enforcement agency that receives a report of a missing person to take certain steps to locate the missing person. It also requires a coroner having custody of unidentified human remains take certain steps to attempt to identify the remains.

 

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments strongly opposes SORNA’s application to juvenile sex offenders and urges Congress to revise the law to more accurately address the needs of juvenile offenders.
 

Suggested State Legislation: This Act makes it a felony for inmates to obtain money by defrauding people. The bill permits corrections staff to freeze all or a portion of an inmate’s account while investigating whether the inmate has committed inmate fraud or while a criminal case involving inmate fraud is pending against the inmate. It requires corrections staff to return money in the inmate’s account to the rightful owner if the inmate is convicted, and specifies that such money must be deposited in a Violent Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund if the rightful owner cannot be located.

Suggested State Legislation: This Act establishes a process to release inmates with certain medical conditions. The Act directs the state parole and probation commission to set reasonable conditions on medical release that will apply for any length of time determined by the commission through the date the inmate's sentence would have expired.

The growing number of death row inmates exonerated is prompting several states to reconsider capital punishment.New Jersey has abolished the death penalty completely. Commissions in other states have stopped short of recommending the death penalty be abolished and instead recommended a series of actions to prevent the possible conviction and execution of innocent people.

CSG South

In response to dwindling federal homeland security funds, states have been forced to devise and implement a range of innovative programs to enhance their security and response capabilities. Except for some anecdotal information, to date, there is little comprehensive data on these programs. Therefore, an examination of certain innovative state programs is instructive to other states as they seek to maximize use of the federal homeland security grants awarded to them.

The first part of this report is an examination of the federal funding for state projects through the Homeland Security Grant Program from fiscal years 2002 to 2007. The second part examines the particular public safety repercussions resulting from diminished federal homeland security funding. The final section of this report is an analysis of the information received from states regarding innovative homeland security and emergency management programs enacted in recent years to contend with the cutbacks in federal funding levels.

Earlier this year, the National Homeland Security Consortium (NHSC) developed a white paper which contained recommendations designed to provide national policy guidance for both short and long-term strategic homeland security issues. The white paper, Protecting Americans in the 21st Century: Imperatives for the Homeland, represents an effort by various disciplines and professions to come together and acknowledge that homeland security is a shared responsibility between all levels of government, the private sector and citizens. Further, the white paper clarifies that these entities should be equal partners with the federal government in setting national goals and their supporting policies and procedures.

 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that The Council of State Government urges appropriate, ongoing, and consistent federal homeland security funding; and

BE IT THEREFORE FURTHER RESOLVED that The Council of State Governments believes that federal funding for homeland security should be maintained at the current level or increased to address the current threats, as well as new and emerging threats, and the need to meet federal mandates; and

BE IT THEREFORE FURTHER RESOLVED that the traditional all hazards and first responder programs should continue to be funded.
 

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments strongly urges Congress to restore funding to the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program to the Fiscal Year 2007 level of $520 million, at a minimum; and
 
BE IT THEREFORE FURTHER RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments supports full funding in future years for this critical anti-crime program at its authorized level of $1.095 billion.
 

Suggested State Legislation: Florida Chapter 143 of 2007 enhances penalties for existing crimes related to possession of child pornography when the offender possesses ten or more images and at least one image includes a child under the age of five; sadomasochistic abuse, sexual battery or sexual bestiality involving a child; or any video or live movie involving a child.

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